Mingle Mangle Mix-A-Lot

WEEKEND RECAP

FRIDAY

Jacob met me at the office around 4:30, suitcase in hand, and we blew on up to the Hill. Dom, Jacob and I got some delicious Thai from a place around the corner from the Zookster pad, and then we met Faye at her place to be really geeky and get to Pacific Place early enough for The Devil’s Rejects. We got temporarily distracted by the broadcast of “Firefly” on Sci-Fi, but managed to tear ourselves away around 7:45 for the 8:30 showing of the movie. We never know what to expect for these things. We’ve been shivering in anticipation for months for this movie, but we have no way of knowing if the rest of American feels the same way. It ain’t Harry Potter. Still, better safe than sorry. When we got to the theatre, there were only about 20 people already seated. However, as 8:30 drew nigh, more and more people (and by people, I mean teenagers) trickled in. One guy even came dressed in a spot-on Captain Spalding outfit. He was talking like Captain Spalding too, which prompted another audience member to tell him to “Shut the fuck up”. We were subjected to the usual billions of commercials, followed by quite possibly the WORST set of trailers ever collected (including “The Cave”, that moto-cross movie and, of course, “The Skeleton Key”, which is quite possibly the WEIRDEST ad campaign for a horror film I’ve ever seen). By this time, the theatre was getting quite full (though still not packed), and we were definitely among the oldest people there. Let me put it this way; to look at the audience, you’d think Hot Topic was the official clothier of The Devil’s Rejects audience.

But then the movie started. Despite the fact that some bonehead left the house lights up until around 10 minutes into the damned movie, we were enraptured and immediately sucked into the world of Rob Zombie. The movie did not disappoint. At all. It was quite possibly one of the most violent movies I have ever seen. It was hilarious and moving and disturbing all at the same time. Now, I HATED “Natural Born Killers” (and not because “it glorified violence” or anything, but because it was supposed to be this big parable, but the main characters were so irritating that I just didn’t care what Oliver Stone had to say), but Rob Zombie made these characters so complex. Sometimes you really did forget that they were cold-blooded killers and you wanted to see them win. Other times, you couldn’t possibly root for them because what they were doing was so horrible. And then he made The Law into the most vicious character in the movie. Kudos, Mr. Zombie, for making a film that was fun and also made you think. Not about “society and media” but about the many levels of these characters that you have created. You have made a damn good, solid film. And when that girl got splattered all over the road by a truck…well, that was pretty sweet too.

After the movie, we were giddy and exhausted. We met Borgia and headed back up the Hill to the Six Arms. After one beer, Jacob, Dom and I were ready for bed. Faye and Borgia stayed out so I don’t know what hi-jinks ensued after that.

SATURDAY
We slept in for a very long time. Jacob and Dom watched “King of the Ants” (very good movie) on DVD while I flitted in and out and dyed my hair. We called Faye, but I guess she must have stayed out pretty late because she was in no mood to make decisions about the day. Jacob and I took matters into our own hands and went out to get some coffee and rent the new “Constantine” DVD with 18 minutes of deleted scenes and an alternate ending. We did enjoy “Constantine” quite a bit (not Shakespeare, of course, but it was a fun movie), but because the original ending of the movie was kind of dumb, we thought perhaps the alternative ending would make the entire viewing experience more satisfactory. Now, since I saw “Constantine”, I took up reading the Hellblazer comics from which the character was taken, and have grown quite fond of the story. Of course, the specific Hellblazer story that the movie is “based on” is pretty much nothing like the end result, and is, in fact, far superior. But if you forget all that when you watch the movie, it’s still a good way to waste a Saturday afternoon. Especially the part where the Gavin Rossdale demon dies. And I always like me some Shia LeBouf wackiness. The deleted scenes, however, were weird. Apparently, they had another character entirely in there (a demon with whom Constatine has a sexual past; a character who actually is in the comic), who they cut out. The dialogue is still the same. They just re-shot the scenes for the movie without her character in there. I guess they thought the notion of Keanu Reeves having sex with a demon was too horrific, even for a PG13 audience. Or something. And the alternate ending is SO GODDAMNED CHEESY! SPOILER ALERT So Shia’s character (who, in the comic, is actually a 35-year old man with a wife and kid; not the rookie apprentice they made him in the movie), dies (of an instantaneous concussion, I guess) and it’s all sad and whatnot. But they leave it at that. In the alternate ending, Constantine visits the cemetery with his new girlfriend, and as they are leaving Shia’s grave, Constantine turns around to see Shia’s ghost sitting on top of the gravestone. But then…get this…he sprouts motherfucking WINGS and flies up to heaven. I’m not kidding. So. Lame. Give me Keanu on a rooftop looking broodily out onto an L.A. skyline and then popping some nicarette any day over that “Touched by an Angel” bullshit any day. I guess that’s what the test audiences thought too.END SPOILERS. Also, END RANT.

We touched base with Faye at this point, still trying to keep the location of the evening’s belated birthday party a secret, while still coaxing her downtown in time. The plan, we thought, was for me, Jacob and Dom to hang around downtown while Jacob checked out some sales at the “overpriced cotton dress shirt” store, and then to meet Faye, Borgia and Sherrard at the Noodle Ranch. But because Faye didn’t know where we were going to end up later, she though the Noodle Ranch was too far away. Plus, she’d already eaten a big snack. So we waited another hour (at Von’s which Sherrard described as an upscale TGI Fridays. I agree. Worst $7 martini ever). Sherrard hooked up with us and we met the attractive couple at Bambuza. I’d always wanted to try it. The meat dishes are a bit overprices (undoubtedly due to the word “bistro” in the name of the restaurant) but the vegetarian dishes were pretty normally priced, so we just got 5 or 6 of those to share. The food was AMAZING. The long beans were succulent. The noodles were heavenly. Highly recommended.
During dinner, we witnessed one of the most priceless Sherrard moments in history. Bare in mind that we were still trying to keep the evening’s events a surprise for Faye. At an unexpected interval, Sherrard announced to the table “So, I’m really excited to go to Gameworks”. The table fell into dead silence for a moment as everyone stared blankly at Sherrard. “What? Do I have something on my face?” he asked. I turned to Faye and said “Surprise! That’s where we’re going” and everyone irrupted in laughter. Sherrard was very embarrassed but we were all just really amused. It was a priceless, cinematic moment. And besides, Faye apparently already had a pretty good idea where we were going anyway. There’s not that much to do downtown. Still, I had really wanted to play a joke on her by leading her into the Fox Sports Grill and shouting “Happy Birthday”.

So with full bellies, we wandered over to Gameworks. We began with a drink and met up with Kayobi, Matt and Legolas (I can never remember his real name). Later, Adam showed up. Later still, B-Rex and B-Rex-ette (I guess I’m bad with names in general, and she doesn’t resemble anyone in LOTR). With a nice buzz going (for some of us), we retreated to the floor to get our game on. I haven’t been to Gameworks in quite some time. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that there are a lot of interactive games now that are almost like working out. There’s air hockey, which I’ve always enjoyed immensely, that is pretty intense, there’s a bicycle race game where you actually have to peddle, there’s the basketball and baseball games in which you actually swing and shoot respectively, and there’s even a soccer game where you have to kick a ball. Best of all, of course, is Dance Dance Revolution. I had never played before. I was always a little wary of it due to my extreme lack of coordination. But Kayobi talked me into it and, after two games, I was completely hooked. By the time we left, two hours later, I was sweating. Gross. But fun. Fun as hell. Apologies to Faye for keeping her there longer than she wanted so that we could get our DDR Ya Ya’s out. Hopefully Faye still had an OK time.

Then we headed back up the Hill to Bill’s. Lily Taylor the waitress was back. She was her usual giddy self. We replaced our burned calories with cheese pizza and beer and then headed home to sleep.

SUNDAY

Sherrard joined Jacob, Dom and I for breakfast at the Canterbury. We were going to try Coastal Kitchen for once, but when we got there, we realized why we probably never tried to go there before. There was a 30 minute wait for a table. On Sunday morning, you do NOT want to wait for a table.
At Canterbury, we had a top-notch waiter who was cool, polite, and attentive. Best of all, he when the cook got our order wrong, he corrected it in less than a minute. I wish he has been there when Mark was there instead of the lazy, lackadaisical waitress. Breakfast was perfect and hit the spot. Following that, we needed some TV time. We finished up the last episode of Buffy (I still can’t help but tear up at several moments in that damned thing. Especially when Andrew tells Xander how Anya died and Xander says “That’s my girl. Always doing the stupid thing”) and then put in some The Office, Season 2. Jacob and I had planned to go to yoga, but it was just too beautiful a day to ruin with indoor exercise. So we went downtown so Jacob could check out one more sale, and then we finished off my Gameworks card for a few more matches of air hokey and one more round of DDR. We returned home where I prepared a glorious nacho orgy, and then we had a PLOTD meeting. The meeting part isn’t the most exciting way to end a Sunday, but it had to be done. Besides, we were discussing our dream cast for PLOTD, and that was kind of fun. Even if I know there’s no way in hell we could get Steve Coogan. –sigh-

Thanks, Jacob, for coming up this weekend. It was a rare treat to see you two weekends in a row!

PS: Who wants to catch another showing of The Devil’s Rejects sometime this week (possibly Wednesday)?

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